Summary: Matchmaking to Etain

Summary: Matchmaking to Etain

Under this name, there are three sagas, known from the “Book of the Cow Burrow” and “The Yellow Book of Lecan” (XIV century).

In the old days, Ireland was ruled by a king from the tribe of the Tribes of the Goddess named Eohide Ollothar (Eohide “Father of All”). He was also called Dagda, for he was able to perform miracles and had power over the harvest. Wishing affinity with his wife Elkmar, the ruler of Brug, Dagda joined with her when her husband went to visit. Dagda dispelled the darkness of the night, making the journey so long that nine months passed like one day, and before the return of Elkman, a woman gave birth to a son named Angus.

Dagda took the boy to be raised in the house of Midir. Angus surpassed all the young men with a charming appearance and agility in games. He was also called Mak Oak (“Young”), for his mother said that, truly, the one who was conceived at the dawn and was born before sunset. Angus thought that it was Midir’s son and did not suspect his relationship with Dagda. But one day he was called his stepson, who does not know his father and mother, and he appeared in tears to Midir. Then Midir brought the young man to Eohide, so that he recognized his son as his own father. Eowheid taught him how to take possession of Elkmar, and Mak Ok became ruler of Brug.

A year later, Midir visited his pupil. On the field the boys played. Suddenly, a dispute broke out between them, and

one of them accidentally stabbed Midir with a cane of holly, but at the request of Angus healed his god-healer Dian Kecht.

Then I wanted Midir intimacy with the most beautiful girl in Ireland, it was Etain Ehreide, daughter of the ruler of the northeastern kingdom. Mak Ok came to him and offered a ransom for the bride. The king demanded that the twelve valleys be cleared of the forest – and at Dagda’s will it was accomplished in one night. Then he ordered the king to take to the sea twelve rivers – and by the will of Dagda, rivers appeared in one night, about which no one had heard before. Then the king said that for the good of the earth, enough is done and he wants to get his share – as much gold and silver as the girl herself weighs. This was done, and Mac Ok led away Etain. Midir was very pleased with his adopted son.

A year passed, and Midir began to gather home, where his wife was waiting for him. Mak Ok warned the father named that the power and cunning of the insidious woman is great – knowledgeable Fuamnakh in secret knowledge of the Tribes of the Goddess Danu. When Midir brought the royal daughter, Fuamnach met them both with affectionate words and invited them into her chambers. Etaine sat on the couch, and Fuamnach struck her with a rod of red mountain ash, turning it into a big puddle. Heat from the hearth pulled water, and crawled out from there worm, which then became a red fly. It was no better than this fly, and her voice was sweeter than the songs of bagpipes and horns. Any disease was healed by drops that flew from its wings, thirst and hunger disappeared from everyone who saw its radiance and sensed the fragrance. When Midir went round his possessions, the fly accompanied him everywhere and protected him from evil intentions. Then Fuamnach raised the mighty wind that blew Etain.

Seven years did not know the fly of peace – completely exhausted, she hid on the bosom of Mak Oka. Mak Ok put it in a purple robe, settled in a glass sunny calm and began to care for her until she had regained her former beauty. Learning about the love of Mac Oka to Etain, fumnah again sent a whirlwind, which brought the fly into the house where people feasted. Etaine fell into the golden cup that stood before Era’s wife, and the woman swallowed it along with the drink. This was the second time Etain was conceived.

To call her became the daughter of Etaera – after her first conception, a thousand and twelve years passed. And Foumagnach fell by the hand of Mak Oka, for he did not forgive the disappearance of the fly.

Ireland then governed Eohide Airem, and all five kingdoms of the country submitted to him. But Eogheid did not have a wife, so the Irish did not want to go to him for the celebration. Eochaid ordered to find the most beautiful girl, to which the man had not yet touched, and found him such – Etain, daughter of Ethar. Ehoid’s brother, Ailil, had a passion for her, and, not daring to confess to anyone, fell ill with anguish. He was dying when Eohide decided to go round his possessions.

The king left his wife with a dying brother, so that she could follow the proper execution of funeral rites. Etain went to Ailil every day, and it was getting easier. Soon she realized that the cause of his illness was love. Promised Etain to heal Ailil, but, not wanting to dishonor the king in his house, scheduled a date on the hill.

There came a man who looked like Ailil in everything, and Etaine consoled him. The next morning, Ailil began to lament that he overslept the meeting, and Etain returned him to the hill. Three times it was repeated: Ailil tried in vain to fight with sleep, and Etaine consoled someone who was similar to him. Finally she demanded an explanation, and the stranger said that his name was Midir – he was her husband when she was called Etain Ehreide, but they had to part because of the charm of the Faumnah. Etain replied that she would leave with him if Eohide’s consent was obtained. When she returned to the royal quarters, Ailil told her that he was completely healed from both illness and love. And Eohide rejoiced, finding his brother alive and well.

On a clear summer day, Eohide Airem rose to the walls of Tara. Suddenly an unfamiliar warrior with golden hair and blue eyes appeared in a purple cloak, with a five-pointed spear and a precious shield. The warrior said that his name was Midir and he came to test the king in the game in the fadhell. Midir took out a board of pure silver with golden figures – in every corner of it a precious stone was shining. In the mortgage put up Midir fifty magnificent horses, and Eohide won them.

The next day, Midir bet fifty fifty-year-old pigs, fifty swords with a gold hilt and fifty red-billed cows. Eohide also won this mortgage. Then he offered Midir to play on what each of them wished. Eohide agreed, but on that day he won Midir and said he wanted to kiss Etain. Eohide gathered in the palace the best warriors and brave men – they surrounded the king with Etain, when the Midir appeared. He embraced Etain and carried her with him through a hole in the roof, and then everyone saw two swans in the sky above Tara.

By order of the king, the Irish began to crush the magical hills, but the Sidi who lived there said that they did not kidnap Eohide’s wife – to return her, we must throw out blind puppies and kittens every day. Eohide did this: Midir was furious, but he could not help it and promised to return Etain. They brought fifty women to the king who looked like Etain’s face and clothes. Eohide chose among them for a long time, and at last it seemed to him that he would recognize his wife. The Irishmen rejoiced, but Midir said that this was his daughter from Etain. So Eohide lost his wife forever, and then was killed by Sigmal, the grandson of Midir.


Summary: Matchmaking to Etain